Fordham Men’s Tennis Falls to Richmond in Second Round of A10 Championship

The Rams played persistently in the tournament last week despite losing to the University of Richmond in the quarterfinals



Max Green, FCRH ’21, is pictured. Fordham men’s tennis made it to the second round of the A10 Championships, mirroring the team’s performance at the 2019 championships by losing to Richmond.


At the Atlantic 10 (A10) Championship this past week, the Fordham men’s tennis team mirrored their 2019 performance, making it to the second round, but losing to the University of Richmond (UR) in an incredibly close finish.

The team entered the tournament as the sixth seed with a 50% win record for the season. On Thursday, April 29, they faced 11-seed La Salle University (LAS) in the first round. Having already defeated the Explorers during the regular season, the Rams knew what to expect. They eventually secured a 4-1 win after a tough battle in doubles, where they lost two of three matches.

La Salle gained the first point by winning the third doubles match (6-1) against duo Jofre Segarra, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’22, and Tom Russwurm, GSBRH ’22. Fordham quickly bounced back when Max Green, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21, and Alex Makatsaria, FCRH ’21, won at second doubles, 6-2. Fabian Mauritzson, GSBRH ’21, and Lutwin de Macar, GSBRH ’21, rounded out doubles play. Fordham came close to stealing the doubles point from La Salle but lost in a tough 7-5 battle. 

After a difficult start in doubles, the Rams won four straight singles matches and did not let up. Green played at the second singles position, followed by Makatsaria at third, de Macar at fourth and Segarra at sixth. These matches brought the team to victory with an overall score of 4-1, leaving two singles matches to go unfinished. Mauritzson did not have the chance to wrap up at first singles, and Russworm’s fifth singles match was cut short. Even in these two incomplete matchups, the players performed well, winning each of their first sets.

This win over the Explorers prepared Fordham to face the third-seeded University of Richmond in the second round on Friday, April 30. The last time the Rams played in the tournament in 2019, they fell to Richmond (4-1). Mauritzson scored the lone point at first singles and won another point for the team on Friday.

With the previous Richmond defeat in mind and a win in the first round, the Rams entered this rematch with high energy. They looked to defeat the Spiders, which was apparent in their neck-and-neck matches from Russworm and Green.

Richmond gained a point to start off by winning both the first and third doubles matches. Team Green and Makatsaria were the sole winners at second doubles, finishing 6-2. Once singles play began, the competition between the two teams became increasingly more intense.

A win over Richmond was still in sight, as the two remaining matches were close.

Nicholas Kanazirev, FCRH ’24, fell first in the second singles spot (2-6, 3-6), but de Macar soon made up for this loss by securing a victory at the fifth position (6-4, 6-3). Makatsaria, who was the team’s strongest singles player this season, lost at fourth singles (2-6, 4-6) to put Fordham behind 3-1.

The next match to finish was first singles where Mauritzson defeated Matthew Fernandez, a first-year in Richmond’s graduate program. This was not the first time these players met — in 2019, Mauritzson also secured a win against Fernandez after entering a tiebreak in the first set. This past Friday, Mauritzson went into another first-set tiebreaker with a smoother second set, ending 6-3. A win for Fordham brought the score to 3-2 and put the team back within striking distance of the Spiders.

A win over Richmond was still in sight, as the two remaining matches were close. Green was playing well at third singles — securing the first set and losing the second, the match was brought to a third set. Russwurm was playing simultaneously at sixth singles and happened to finish first, leading Green’s match to go unfinished with a final score of 6-3, 2-6, 6-6 (DNF).

Tom Russwurm plays against Richmond
Tom Russwurm, GSBRH ’22, played a competitive singles match, but his opponent won five straight games, and Richmond won the match. (MICHELLE STOJKOV/ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE)

Russwurm played an incredible match against Richmond’s Josh Keitelman, UR ’22. Beginning with a loss in the first set, Russwurm bounced back with a vengeance. In the second set, he only gave up one game to his opponent, finishing 6-1. The pressure was increasing at this point, as the Rams needed this victory from Russwurm to keep their hopes alive.

Each point carried a lot of weight with it in the final set of the match. Russwurm held an exciting lead (5-2) at one point, with victory only one game away. His opponent, however, had a fierce comeback by winning five straight games. This brought the match to an end with the final score of 4-6, 6-1, 5-7.

Had Russwurm pulled off that win, the overall score between the Rams and Spiders would have been tied at 3-3. In that instance, Green’s match at third singles would have been the determining factor for Fordham to advance to the semifinal.

Regardless of the outcome of this match, the Rams should return to the Bronx with their heads held high. This time around, the Rams proved their strength to Richmond with an unrelenting performance. Having played a great regular season with an extraordinary finish, they should remain proud.